Original Article | Published:

Vitamins and plant ingredients

Pomegranate extract alleviates disease activity and some blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 71, pages 9296 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Since the main characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are joint dysfunction caused by inflammation and serious pain, anti-inflammatory agents may alleviate the clinical symptoms in RA. Pomegranate juice is rich in polyphenolic compounds that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. This study aimed to determine the beneficial effects of pomegranate extract (POMx) in RA patients.

Subjects/Methods:

A total of 55 RA patients were enrolled and randomly allocated to an intervention group (n=30) or a control group (n=25). The intervention group received 2 capsules of 250 mg POMx and the control group 2 capsules of 250 mg cellulose per day for 8 weeks. At the beginning of the study and after 8 weeks, Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28 were completed and serum concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), matrix metalloproteinases 3 (MMP3), malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were analyzed using standard methods and compared between the two groups.

Results:

Compared with the placebo group, POMx supplement significantly reduced the score of DAS28 (P<0.001) which could be related to the decrease in swollen (P<0.001) and tender joints (P=0.001) count, pain intensity (P=0.003) and ESR levels (P= 0.03). POMx consumption also decreased HAQ score (P=0.007) and morning stiffness (P=0.04) and increased GPx concentrations (P<0.001). There were no differences in the change in mean MMP3, CRP and MDA levels between two groups.

Conclusions:

POMx alleviates disease activity and improves some blood biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in RA patients.

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Acknowledgements

The present article was extracted from the thesis written by Elham Tavakoli and financially supported by Shiraz University of Medical Science grants no.90-5811. All authors contributed to the work and approved the content of the submitted manuscript. We appreciate all the patients who kindly participated in the study, without whom any clinical research would be impossible. We would like to thank the Research Consultation Center of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for their editorial assistance.

Author contributions

We advise that all authors listed have contributed to the work. MG analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. ET recruited the patients and collected the samples and performed laboratory tests. KM supervised the biochemical experiments. JH and GS contributed to the data analysis and the interpretation of results. ZM contributed to the study design, supervised the study and reviewed the manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

    • M Ghavipour
  2. Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

    • G Sotoudeh
  3. Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

    • E Tavakoli
    •  & Z Mazloom
  4. Department of Rheumatology, Ahwaz University of Medical Science, Ahwaz, Iran

    • K Mowla
  5. Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

    • J Hasanzadeh

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Z Mazloom.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2016.151